. mikan, my love .

. snowmirage .

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A/n: I am sorry this took so long to come out! Gomen (dodges all the flying utensils)...but I lost the entire chapter when my com crashed (It is a particular side-hobby it likes to undertake to torture me) I had to retype everything from memory. Well, whatever...At least it came out :') Enjoy (I hope)...

Dedicated to: bienenstich, glenda23, dbzgtfan2004, Ridley Silverlake, natsumexmikan, blu3 ch3rry blossom, danavalkyrie, noWriter, 'rhein-013', sakura4594, Toki Hasegara, black cat girl 2006, aniprincess13, emrevolemina, who am i? & anime-rawkz.

You Guys are the best :D

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Chapter three: Dance in the Moonlight

The night of the Last Dance.

It was a night of subtle beauty, of laughter, dancing by the firelight, sumptuous and it was also punctuated by the awestruck gasps coming from one Sakura Mikan, who was obviously overwhelmed by the stark beauty of the night even though, as pointed out by her ever helpful best friend Imai Hotaru, it had been the same for the past years.

"Neh, neh Hotaru! Mitte mitte!" She pointed excitedly at the giant bon-fire burning brightly at the centre of the grounds, its flickering orange light silhouetting the couples dancing next to it.

"Baka." With that single, cold word, the festival's homecoming queen looked away, already having been distracted by the delectable looking buffet spread and of course, her favorite crab-flavored soup.

Mikan, left to trail behind together with Hotaru's admirers cum prospective business partners which had grown to an alarming number along with the years, let out a sigh as she noted her friends dancing away on the dance floor.

Yuu was dancing with Nonoko, Sumire with Mochu, Koko with Anna, Misaki-sensei (though seemingly unwilling) was dancing with a female student, Narumi-sensei with Serena-sensei and even Youichi was dancing with Mai, a female he had taken an eye to (though he would never admit it).

Mikan felt slightly left out.

Then she spotted someone that immediately had her brightened up.

"Ruka-pyon!" She waved happily as she ran up to Ruka, who was not surprisingly surrounded in by females of all ages and sizes hoping for their 'Ruka-sempai' to ask them for a dance.

Reaching him, she paused for a while, her brows furrowed slightly as she noted that Natsume was not with Ruka.

His absence practically screamed out at her with little neon light bulbs.

She didn't know why, but it bothered her.

After dancing with Ruka, much to the displeasure of the other unsuccessful females, she set off to find the sole loner who would never know what hit him.

o-------------------------------------------------------------o

Seated far away from the dance grounds in a small clearing, Hyuuga Natsume contemplated the lovely view of the full moon and how pleasant it was to be far away from all the females.

The slight rustling of the leaves alerted Natsume to the presence of someone else.

A she.

He didn't even bothered to glance up to know that it was Mikan even before the brunette plopped herself down onto the space next to him, slightly worse for wear from having to traipse through the forest foliage.

After all, there were only two people who would know where he was, Ruka because well, he would simply know and the baka youjo because it was where she found him every single year.

"Did I say you could sit next to me?" He drawled out rudely as he flicked an annoyed look at the girl.

In the midst of arranging her skirts nicely so that she would not crinkle them, Mikan paused to glare at the flame caster, who was already looking in the other direction.

"Natsume baka." She muttered under her breathe and stuck out her tongue at him.

Natsume ignored her.

He had wanted some peace and quiet and mainly, to be far far far away from a certain extremely annoying human breed called females.

He got it.

That is, until a certain annoying female by the name of Sakura Mikan appeared.

Every single year.

In fact, he could even predict what she was going to ask a few minutes later, word for word.

Don't you want to dance?

Natsume begin a mental countdown in his brain. In three, two, one.

"Don't you want to dance?"

Natsume smirked. He liked it when he was right.

"No." He answered baldly, knowing that it would aggravate the baka.

His thoughts proved true when she immediately pouted and prop her chin back onto her bent knees.

She was so predictable.

They returned to their task of ignoring each other and admiring the moon, though one was now visibly disappointed.

It did not escape the sharp eye of a certain flame caster though.

Then, without a word, he stood up, dusting the leaves and dirt stuck on his black trousers, startling a surprised 'oh' out of the girl, who stared up at him with wide golden brown eyes.

He held out a hand to the still staring girl.

Clueless at what he wanted, she continued staring until Natsume, not exactly known for his boundless patience, drawled out with a roll of his eyes, "Didn't you want to dance, woman?"

A sparkle lit her eyes and she beamed happily at him, her previous feelings forgotten as she placed her hand in his and allowed him to pull her up.

With her hand in his and his other hand wrapped around her waist, they begin to dance their own dance in the little glade, accompanied by the soft music from the Academy grounds.

Lost in their own world, they spun to the soft strains of music in the little clearing in an almost dream-like haze.

Then, Natsume just had to say something.

"Slow." He mocked at her, unable to keep the smirk off his face at the latter's rather slow comprehension of things in general.

"Why you...Stupid fox." She shot back, glaring at the unruffled boy who looked back at her coolly, one dark brow raised as he stared back at her insolently with his crimson eyes.

"Ugly."

"Baka."

"Lousy dancer."

"I am not!" A flushed appeared on Mikan's face as she stepped on his foot. Again.

Still, it was rather ungentlemanly of him to mention that, not that she ever thought polite was even a word in Hyuuga Natsujme's dictionary.

"Am too." Natsume replied, never one to lose out on a argument, causing the brunette to glare at him before stomping on his feet.

Hard.

He retaliated by stomping back on hers.

Suddenly, the ridiculousness of the situation struck Mikan and she started giggling before breaking out into laughter.

By then, even Natsume had a small smile on his face.

Soon her laughter was filling up the entire place as they continued to waltz under them moonlight.

When they finally stopped, Mikan was still smiling as she flopped down onto the grass, tired.

Natsume stood, illuminated by the moonlight, his hands tucked onto the pockets of his pants as he looked at her, his crimson gaze undecipherable.

Mikan, feeling the intensity of his stare, looked up and found her gaze locked with his.

Suddenly, in an uncalculated move that startled even himself, Natsume suddenly bent down, his palm sliding softly across her left cheek as he planted a soft kiss onto Mikan's right cheek.

Then he was gone in a rustle of leaves, leaving behind a blushing Mikan behind, her hand cupping her cheek as she stared after where Natsume had disappeared to.

o---------------------------------------o

That night, when Mikan reached her room, she found a long-stemmed daffodil lying across her bed, a tiny slip of paper under it bearing only a single letter: N.

It was enough to make her heart swell with emotion and for her to blush as she remembered the kiss.

She cradled the flower to her cheek and whispered out the words she never said to the enigmatic boy who had made her fall for him in the most unconventional way:

I love you.

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Mikan. My love, my life.

I love you, forever and ever.

.fin.

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A/n: My second finished fic! Rejoice, ye wonderful readers! XD